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Transatlantic Memories of Slavery: Reimagining the Past, Changing the Future By Elisa ...

Chapter :  Introduction
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Transatlantic Memories of Slavery:


Expanding the Circle of the We

Reimagining Slavery across Nations and Genres

Elisa Bordin and Anna Scacchi

“The legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives, you know, that casts a long shadow, and that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on. We’re not cured of it, ... And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say ‘n-----’ in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened 200–300 years prior.”

– President Barack Obama1

“Is the suffering of others also our own? In thinking that it might in fact be, societies expand the circle of the we.”

– Jeffrey C. Alexander,
“Towards a Theory of Cultural Trauma” (2004)